Vice President for Research & Economic Development
Proposal Services & Faculty Support
October Funding Focus Newsletter #2
What is a Limited Submission?
A limited submission solicitation (RFA, RFP, etc.) places a cap on the number of proposals that Auburn may submit to a sponsor. Auburn coordinates limited submissions by sending out a notification via this newsletter and creating competitions in the Auburn University Competition Space (also known as InfoReady).To apply to any limited submission posted below, click on the above link and search for your competition reflected on the page. Please refer to the Limited Submission Procedures page for a list of requirements.
Limited Submission Announcements

These competitive research awards provide seed money for junior faculty members that often result in additional funding from other sources. The award amount provided by ORAU is $5,000. AU is required to match the award with at least an additional $5,000. This is a one-year grant (June 1 to May 31).

Eligibility for the Powe Awards is open to full-time assistant professors at ORAU member institutions within two years of their initial tenure track appointment at the time of application. If there is a question about eligibility, be sure to check the FAQs available or contact Christine Cline in Proposal Services and Faculty Support.

Research projects must fall within one of these five disciplines:
  • Engineering and Applied Science
  • Life Sciences
  • Mathematics/Computer Sciences
  • Physical Sciences
  • Policy, Management, or Education

Institutional Limit: 2 Proposals
Internal Deadline: October 30, 2020 4:45 pm

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is accepting applications for Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 for the Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training (BHWET) Program for Professionals. The purpose of the BHWET Program for Professionals is to develop and expand experiential training opportunities, such as field placements and internships, to improve the distribution and supply of the behavioral health workforce. The BHWET Program for Professionals emphasizes relationships with community-based partners (e.g., hospitals, crisis centers, state and local health departments, emergency departments, faith-based organizations, first responders, and judicial systems) to increase access to quality behavioral health services for populations across the lifespan in high need and high demand areas.

A special focus is placed on demonstrating knowledge and understanding of the specific concerns for children, adolescents, and transitional-aged youth who are at risk for behavioral health disorders. Additionally, the BHWET Program for Professionals emphasizes interdisciplinary collaboration by utilizing team-based care in integrated behavioral health and primary care settings and recruiting a workforce that reflects participation in the institutions’ programs of individuals and groups from different racial, ethnic, cultural, geographic, religious, linguistic, and class backgrounds, and different genders and sexual orientations, interested in serving high need and high demand areas.

Institutional Limit: 1 Proposal
Internal Deadline: October 30, 2020 4:45 pm
NCI: Pre-Application Webinar for RFA-CA-20-053,
Genomic Data Analysis Network: Genomic Data Analysis Center (U24 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) will hold a pre-application webinar on Tuesday, October 20, 2020, from 2:00 - 3:00 PM (ET) for the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) RFA-CA-20-053 "Genomic Data Analysis Network: Genomic Data Analysis Center (U24 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)".

NCI staff members involved in the FOA will provide a brief overview of the RFA-CA-20-053 for potential applicants by explaining the goals and objectives for the FOA, as well as answering questions from webinar attendees.
Attendees will also be able to ask questions during the webinar.

WebEx Information:
  • Meeting link: 
  • Meeting Number: 172 459 5934
  • Meeting Password: Meeting@2
To join by phone (only):
  • 1-650-479-3207 Call-in number (US/Canada)
  • Access code: 172 459 5934
Participation in this webinar, although encouraged, is optional and is not required for the submission of an application in response to RFA-CA-20-053. A document highlighting frequently asked questions and corresponding answers will be posted to the NCI Center for Cancer Genomics Funding Opportunities webpage following the webinar.

Webinar Date: Tuesday, October 20, 2020, 2:00-3:00 pm (EST)

The Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO) is notifying members of the research communities of an important change to the program solicitations noted below, effective in calendar year 2020. In accordance with the modernization effort, BIO will implement a requirement for submission of full proposals via or for the program solicitations listed below in the Division of Environmental Biology (DEB), the Division of Integrative Organismal Systems (IOS), the Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences (MCB), and in the Research Resources Cluster of the Division of Biological Infrastructure (DBI). These represent the set of BIO solicitations that accept proposal submission at any time (i.e., have no deadlines). This is the first phase in an eventual shift to require all proposals be submitted via or

Full Dear Colleague Letter is available here.

By way of this Notice, NIH is announcing a requirement for institutions receiving institutional research training, career development and research education awards to submit the Trainee Diversity Report required with Research Performance Progress Reports (RPPRs), Interim Final RPPRs, and Final RPPRs electronically, using a new option that will be provided in the xTrain and RPPR modules in early FY 2021.

NIH requires the submission of the Trainee Diversity Report for institutional research training, career development and research education awards in RPPR submissions. To reduce burden on our recipients, NIH is integrating this form into xTrain, which is the eRA Commons module used to manage appointments and terminations on NIH institutional research training grants, institutional career development awards, and research education awards. This new electronically generated report will leverage existing electronic demographic data entered by trainees in the Personal Profile of eRA Commons to minimize the need for manual data entry by recipients.

Beginning October 30, 2020, the requirement for an electronically generated Trainee Diversity Report will be implemented through the RPPR submission process for institutional research training grants, institutional career development awards, and research education awards that require appointments through the xTrain system, including the following:
T15, T32, T34, T35, T37, T42, T90, TL1, TU2, TL4, TU2, K12/KL2, R25, R38, R90, RL5, RL9

The eRA system will check whether the RPPRs for the specified grant types include an electronically generated Trainee Diversity Report. RPPRs lacking an electronically generated report will not be accepted.Note that for the K12/KL2, R25, KM1 and R90, the eRA system will check whether an appointment has been made.  If an appointment was made, NIH will require an electronically generated report. If no appointment was made the system will not be able to generate a report and a manual upload will be required.
Conflict of Interest Form Updates

Auburn University's Conflict of Interest Policies require all full-time employees at AU, AUM, ACES & AAES to annually complete a Conflict of Interest/Commitment disclosure. Employees engaging in sponsored research, technology commercialization, or related activities also have the responsibility of disclosing as required by sponsors and Auburn policies. Auburn University Division of Institutional Compliance & Privacy, the AU Office of the Vice President for Research & Economic Development, and the AUM Office of Research & Sponsored Programs use COI-SMART to facilitate this process. 

Submitting Your Disclosure Questionnaire
COI-SMART allows employees to complete the required disclosure questionnaire with password-protected, online submission of the questionnaire. You may save your questionnaire and return to complete it at a later date, if necessary.  To access COI-SMART, you can log in at using your Auburn Username and Password and DUO authentication.

When to Submit and Revise Your Questionnaire  
You should submit the completed Questionnaire within 30 days of receipt of this email. In addition to this annual disclosure, the policy requires that you revise your questionnaire during the reporting year within 30 days of any change to the previously reported information.

Available Resources 
Halo Knowledge Base

Halo is a collaborative website that connects scientists with funders who are interested in financing research projects. These companies post opportunity announcements that scientists can apply to using simple, standard proposals. Typical funders are from within the pharmaceutical, technology, food and beverage, chemical and energy sectors. The pre-proposal format is a short, five-question form with a 500-character limit per question.
  • What is your research hypothesis?
  • What is the rationale?
  • How has the hypothesis been validated to date? (optional)
  • What is your research plan?
  • Add up to five of your most relevant publications, grants, or patents. (optional)

The proposals are reviewed by the sponsoring companies as they are submitted. Although typically only one project is funded per RFP, all researchers will receive feedback on their proposed projects and may stay in touch with these new potential resources. If the parties decide to move forward with a collaboration, they will negotiate a funding instrument for the project. For more information, visit the Halo website:

No plane tickets, hotel costs, or food budgets to worry about! In fact, no registration fees either! The NIH is bringing the Fall 2020 NIH Virtual Seminar on Program Funding and Grants Administration direct to your computer…free of charge, Tuesday, October 27 – Friday, October 30!
Federal Agency Coronavirus Resource Hubs

The ASAP Collaborative Research Network, a program of the Aligning Science Across Parkinson’s (ASAP) initiative being implemented through The Michael J. Fox Foundation, seeks to support multidisciplinary, multi-institutional research teams to address key knowledge gaps in the basic mechanisms that contribute to Parkinson’s development and progression. This program solely funds basic research aimed at understanding the 1) structure and function of the nervous system (and related physiological systems) and 2) disease mechanisms that contribute to Parkinson’s disease. Research can involve studies performed in vitro, in animals or in humans.

For this priority area, ASAP is interested in understanding its dynamics during the prodromal period and how it is altered during the progression to overt disease.

Register for a Free Informational Webinar: Oct. 28, 2020, 12 p.m. EST
Pre-Proposals Due: December 11, 2020
Invited Proposals Due: April 13, 2021

Templeton World Charity Foundation is looking for ideas that can lead to new multi-grant research portfolios on human flourishing. They are particularly interested in ideas for interdisciplinary scientific research towards discoveries that can promote physical, mental, social, and spiritual well-being. They welcome ideas that bridge gaps between empirical science and the humanities. Such ideas may include (but are not limited to): 
  • Experimental testing of philosophically grounded models of human flourishing;
  • Research on biological complexity in humans, including genetics, epigenetics, and microbiome research;
  • Investigation of key psychological, neuroscientific, or human developmental concepts, such as (but not limited to) altruism, creativity, imagination, narrative, and meta-cognition;
  • Research on cognitive, affective, or social capacities of individuals or groups;
  • Studies of human biological or cultural evolution.

They will not be able to support traditional research ideas that would normally be considered by major funding organizations. Although such projects are vital, they plan to focus on innovations that have been neglected or overlooked. Where traditional research ideas are presented, they expect contributors to provide a suitable justification. Ideas that are not likely to be eligible may include:
  • Diagnostic, preventative, or therapeutic discovery in medicine;
  • Behavioral intervention development in psychiatry;
  • Basic research primarily on neurological conditions, infectious disease, cardiovascular disease, or cancer;
  • Research primarily on mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression;
  • Research on climate change or related relief efforts;
  • Scaling up interventions that have already been established;
  • Biomedical research related to COVID-19.

Key Selection Criteria
The Foundation will consider the following criteria during the review process.
  • Does the idea fit with the strategic goals of the Foundation?
  • What is the potential for new scientific discovery?
  • Is the idea clearly articulated?
  • Is the idea based on a sound conceptual framework? 
  • Is the idea supported by rigorous methodologies?
  • Is the timeline realistic?
  • Is the budget reasonable?

RFI Deadline: November 11, 2020 midnight PST

The Directorate for Geosciences (GEO) contributes to the IUSE initiative through the Improving Undergraduate STEM Education: Pathways into the Geosciences - Earth, Ocean, Polar and Atmospheric Sciences (IUSE:GEOPAths) funding opportunity. IUSE:GEOPAths invites proposals that specifically address the current needs and opportunities related to education within the geosciences community through the formation of STEM Learning Ecosystems that engage students in the study of the Earth, its oceans, polar regions and atmosphere. The primary goal of the IUSE:GEOPAths funding opportunity is to increase the number of students pursuing undergraduate and/or postgraduate degrees through the design and testing of novel approaches that engage students in authentic, career-relevant experiences in geoscience. In order to broaden participation in the geosciences, engaging students from historically excluded groups or from non-geoscience degree programs is a priority. While maintaining elements from the legacy tracks of GEOPATHS, this solicitation features three new funding tracks that focus on Geoscience Learning Ecosystems (GLEs):

  • GEOPAths: Informal Networks (IN). Collaborative projects in this track will support geoscience learning and experiences in informal settings for teachers, pre-college (e.g., upper level high school) students, and early undergraduates in the geosciences.
  • GEOPAths: Undergraduate Preparation (UP). Projects in this track will engage pre-college and undergraduate students in extra-curricular experiences and training in the geosciences with a focus on service learning [Reference 3 in the Program Description section] and workplace skill building.
  • GEOPAths: Graduate Opportunities (GO). Projects in this track will improve research and career-related pathways into the geosciences for undergraduate and graduate students through institutional collaborations with a focus on service learning and workplace skill building.

Letter of Intent Due: November 17, 2020
Full Proposal Due: January 26, 2021

Cyber-physical systems (CPS) are engineered systems that are built from, and depend upon, the seamless integration of computation and physical components. Advances in CPS will enable capability, adaptability, scalability, resiliency, safety, security, and usability that will expand the horizons of these critical systems. CPS technologies are transforming the way people interact with engineered systems, just as the Internet has transformed the way people interact with information. New, smart CPS drive innovation and competition in a range of application domains including agriculture, aeronautics, building design, civil infrastructure, energy, environmental quality, healthcare and personalized medicine, manufacturing, and transportation. CPS are becoming data-rich enabling new and higher degrees of automation and autonomy. Traditional ideas in CPS research are being challenged by new concepts emerging from artificial intelligence and machine learning. The integration of artificial intelligence with CPS especially for real-time operation creates new research opportunities with major societal implications.

While tremendous progress has been made in advancing CPS technologies, the demand for innovation across application domains is driving the need to accelerate fundamental research to keep pace. At the same time, the CPS program seeks to open new vistas for the research community to think beyond the usual cyber-physical paradigms and structures and propose creative ideas to address the myriad challenges of today's systems as well as those of the future that have not yet been designed or fielded.

The CPS program aims to develop the core research needed to engineer these complex CPS, some of which may also require dependable, high-confidence, or provable behaviors. Core research areas of the program include control, data analytics, and machine learning—including real-time learning for control, autonomy, design, Internet of Things (IoT), mixed initiatives including human-in- or human-on-the-loop, networking, privacy, real-time systems, safety, security, and verification. By abstracting from the particulars of specific systems and application domains, the CPS program seeks to reveal cross-cutting, fundamental scientific and engineering principles that underpin the integration of cyber and physical elements across all application domains. The program additionally supports the development of methods, tools, and hardware and software components based upon these cross-cutting principles, along with validation of the principles via prototypes and testbeds. This program also fosters a research community that is committed to advancing education and outreach in CPS and accelerating the transition of CPS research into the real world.

All proposals must include the following as part of the Project Description:
  • A Research Description that describes the technical rationale and technical approach of the CPS research, including the challenges that drive the research problem and how the research integrates cyber and physical components. This section must also describe how the research outcomes are translational to other application domains. Specifically, it must include:
  • A subsection titled "CPS Research Focus" which describes the cyber-physical system attributes of the challenge problem and clearly identifies the core CPS research areas addressed in which the novel and foundational research contributions are being made;
  • An Evaluation/Experimentation Plan that describes how proposed concepts will be validated and outlines the metrics for success;
  • A Project Management and Collaboration Plan that summarizes how the project team is ideally suited to realize the project goals and how the team will ensure effective collaboration; and
  • A Broader Impacts section that describes how the research will be disseminated to a broad and diverse audience. This should go beyond traditional academic publications and includes education and outreach from the research team spanning multiple levels of engagement. Broader Impacts encompasses Broadening Participation in Computing (BPC) and Engineering (BPE).

Proposals Due: December 2, 2020

Oceanographic facilities and equipment are supported by the Integrative Programs Section (IPS) of the Division of Ocean Sciences (OCE), Directorate for Geosciences (GEO). These awards are made for the procurement, conversion and/or up-grade, enhancement or annual operation of platforms in the ocean, coastal, near-shore and Great Lakes. Awards are generally directed specifically to support facilities that lend themselves to shared use within the broad range of federally-supported research and education programs. Most of these platforms and facilities also receive partial support from federal agencies other than NSF. This includes state and local governments and private sources on a proportional basis usually through a daily rate mechanism. The primary objective of these awards is to ensure the availability of appropriate facilities for federally-funded investigators and educators. Individual project-based facilities and instrumentation, limited to one, or a small group of investigators, should be supported through appropriate research programs as opposed to the IPS programs listed herein.

The individual programs covered within this solicitation include:

  1. Ship Operations (Ship Ops)
  2. Oceanographic Technical Services (Tech Services)
  3. Oceanographic Instrumentation (OI)
  4. Shipboard Scientific Support Equipment (SSSE)
  5. Ship Acquisition and Upgrade (SAU)
  6. Other Facility Activities (OFA)

Proposal Deadline: December 15, 2020

The Short Documentaries program supports the production and distribution of documentary films up to 30 minutes that engage audiences with humanities ideas in appealing ways. The program aims to extend the humanities to new audiences through the medium of short documentary films. Films must be grounded in humanities scholarship.

The Short Documentaries program supports production of single films or a series of thematically-related short films addressing significant figures, events, or ideas. The proposed film(s) must be intended for regional or national distribution, via broadcast, festivals, and/or online distribution. The subject of the film(s) must be related to “A More Perfect Union”: NEH Special Initiative Advancing Civic Education and Commemorating the Nation’s 250th Anniversary.

Applicants must have consulted with a team of scholarly advisers in the humanities to develop the humanities themes, subjects, and ideas that the film(s) will explore. The humanities scholars must provide diverse perspectives, and incorporate a range of scholarly ideas and approaches.

Proposals Due: January 6, 2021

The objective of the Cybersecurity Innovation for Cyberinfrastructure (CICI) program is to develop, deploy and integrate solutions that benefit the broader scientific community by securing science data, workflows, and infrastructure. CICI recognizes the unique nature of modern, rapid collaborative science and the breadth of security expertise, infrastructure and requirements among different practitioners, researchers, and scientific projects. CICI seeks projects in three program areas:

  1. Usable and Collaborative Security for Science (UCSS): Projects in this program area should support novel and applied security and usability research that facilitates scientific collaboration, encourages the adoption of security into the scientific workflow, and helps create a holistic, integrated security environment that spans the entire scientific CI ecosystem.
  2. Reference Scientific Security Datasets (RSSD): Projects in this program area should capture the unique properties of scientific workflows and workloads as reference data artifacts to support reproducible security research and protect the scientific process.
  3. Scientific Infrastructure Vulnerability Discovery (SIVD): Projects in this program area should develop and apply techniques to proactively discover vulnerabilities and weaknesses in scientific infrastructure.

Proposals Due: January 8, 2021

The Digital Humanities Advancement Grants program (DHAG) supports innovative, experimental, and/or computationally challenging digital projects at different stages of their lifecycles, from early start-up phases through implementation and sustainability. Experimentation, reuse, and extensibility are valued in this program, leading to work that can scale to enhance scholarly research, teaching, and public programming in the humanities. The program also supports scholarship that examines the history, criticism, and philosophy of digital culture or technology and its impact on society. Proposals are welcome in any area of the humanities from organizations of all types and sizes. 

In support of its efforts to advance digital infrastructures and initiatives in libraries and archives, and subject to the availability of funds and IMLS discretion, the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) anticipates providing funding through this program. These funds may support some DHAG projects that further the IMLS mission to advance, support, and empower America’s museums, libraries, and related organizations. IMLS funding will encourage innovative collaborations between library and archives professionals, humanities professionals, and relevant public communities that advance preservation of, access to, and public engagement with digital collections and services to empower community learning, foster civic cohesion, and strengthen knowledge networks. This could include collaborations with community-based archives, community-driven efforts, and institutions or initiatives representing the traditionally underserved. Interested applicants should also refer to the current IMLS Strategic Plan for additional context. 

Proposals Due: January 15, 2021

The goals of the SaTC program are aligned with the National Science and Technology Council's (NSTC) Federal Cybersecurity Research and Development Strategic Plan (RDSP) and National Privacy Research Strategy (NPRS) to protect and preserve the growing social and economic benefits of cyber systems while ensuring security and privacy. The RDSP identified six areas critical to successful cybersecurity research and development: (1) scientific foundations; (2) risk management; (3) human aspects; (4) transitioning successful research into practice; (5) workforce development; and (6) enhancing the research infrastructure. The NPRS, which complements the RDSP, identifies a framework for privacy research, anchored in characterizing privacy expectations, understanding privacy violations, engineering privacy-protecting systems, and recovering from privacy violations. In alignment with the objectives in both strategic plans, the SaTC program takes an interdisciplinary, comprehensive and holistic approach to cybersecurity research, development, and education, and encourages the transition of promising research ideas into practice.

The SaTC program welcomes proposals that address cybersecurity and privacy, and draw on expertise in one or more of these areas: computing, communication and information sciences; engineering; education; mathematics; statistics; and social, behavioral, and economic sciences. Proposals that advance the field of cybersecurity and privacy within a single discipline or interdisciplinary efforts that span multiple disciplines are both welcome.

Proposals must be submitted pursuant to one of the following designations, each of which may have additional restrictions and administrative obligations as specified in this program solicitation.
  • CORE: This designation is the main focus of the SaTC research program, spanning the interests of NSF's Directorates for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE), Engineering (ENG), Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS), and Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences (SBE).
  • EDU: The Education (EDU) designation will be used to label proposals focusing entirely on cybersecurity education.
  • TTP: The Transition to Practice (TTP) designation will be used to label proposals that are focused exclusively on transitioning existing research results to practice.

CORE and TTP proposals may be submitted in one of the following project size classes:
  • Small projects: up to $500,000 in total budget, with durations of up to three years; and
  • Medium projects: $500,001 to $1,200,000 in total budget, with durations of up to four years.

CORE proposals (but not TTP or EDU proposals) may also be submitted in the following project size class:
  • Large projects: $1,200,001 to $3,000,000 in total budget, with durations of up to five years.

EDU proposals are limited to $400,000 in total budget, with durations of up to three years. Proposals that demonstrate a collaboration, reflected in the PI, co-PI, and/or Senior Personnel composition, between a cybersecurity subject matter expert (researcher or practitioner) and an education researcher may request up to $500,000 for three years.

Large Proposals Due: January 29, 2021
Small, Medium and EDU Projects Accepted Anytime
Proposal Services & Faculty Support
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